Young Adult Lit/Crit

May 1, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — jexter1 @ 12:29 am

This week, I read ANNIE’S BABY by Beatrice Sparks, Ph.D. A quick read and written in the form of diary entries, most teenage girls would love this novel. Annie, short of “anonymous” is a fourteen-year old girl who ends up dating the new boy: athletic, good-looking, popular, desirable, definition of “masculine” and “sex appeal.” The relationship begins like a dream for Annie, but rapidly turns violent and frightening. Danny, Annie’s boyfriend, rapes Annie – she was a virgin before the rape – beats her, guilts her into drinking alcohol at parties, and compels her to lie to her mother of her whereabouts so that she have many-a-secret rendezvous with Danny.

A book recommended by Erica in her seminar on teen pregnancy and parenting, Annie subsequently gets pregnant. I do not want to ruin the ending, because this is a book all teachers of teenage girls should be knowledgeable of, so I will end here. Annie struggles with the concept of single parenthood, confronting her mother, the wrath of Danny, and the choices of how to handle the pregnancy. Birth control, “the first time,” physical and sexual abuse are major topics discussed in this short novel.

Most importantly, Annie feels guilty and responsible for Danny’s abuse. She thinks that she brought it on herself, and at other times, it’s the “alcohol” or “stress of working too many hours.” Warped justifications like these resonate so well with young, amateur relationships. I think Lesesne would agree that this is appropriate for the developmental stage of teenagers that are 14-18 years old.



1 Comment »

  1. Jessica,
    This sounds like a really interesting, multi-layered book. The use of “Annie” to stand in for “Anonymous” is interesting. It shows that even this type of situation could happen to anyone, and we wouldn’t even know it. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by sostrom — May 1, 2008 @ 9:47 am

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